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Battle Royale [DVD]

Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano , Taro Yamamoto , Chiaki Kuriyama    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
Price: 9.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Battle Royale [DVD] + Battle Royale 2 - Requiem [DVD] [2003] + Oldboy [DVD] [2003]
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Product details

  • Actors: Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano, Taro Yamamoto, Masanobu Ando, Ssuke Takaoka, Tatsuya Fujiwara
  • Directors: Chiaki Kuriyama
  • Producers: Masamichi Amano, Masao Sato, Masumi Okada, Teruo Kamaya
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Arrow Video
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Oct 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005IX34EI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,563 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

With the Japanese currently leading the way in thought-provoking cinematic violence it’s only fitting that Kenta Fukasaku’s Battle Royale is being touted as A Clockwork Orange for the 21st century. Based on the novel by Koshun Takami, the film opens with a series of fleeting images of unruly Japanese schoolkids, whose bad behaviour provides a justification for the "punishments" which will ensue. To be honest, anyone who has grown up with Grange Hill will view these aggressive teenagers’ acts as pretty moderate, but in the context of Japanese culture, their lack of respect is a challenge to the traditional values of respecting your elders. Once the prequel has been dispensed with the classmates are drugged and awaken on an island where they find they have been fitted with dog collars that monitor their every move. Instructed by their old teacher ("Beat" Takeshi) with the aid of an upbeat MTV-style video, they are told of their fate: after an impartial Lottery they have been chosen to fight each other in a three-day, no-rules contest, the "Battle Royale". Their only chance of survival in the "Battle" is through the death of all their classmates. Some pupils embrace their mission with zeal, while others simply give up or try to become peacemakers and revolutionaries. However, the ultimate drive for survival comes from the desire to protect the one you love.

The film looks like a war-flick on occasions, with intense Apocalypse Now-style imagery (check out the classical score blasted over the tannoys with sweeping shots of helicopters). Yet, Battle Royale works on many different levels, highlighting the authorities’ desperation to enforce law and order and the alienation caused by the generation gap. But whether you view the film as an important social commentary or simply enjoy the adrenalin-fuelled violence, this is set to become cult viewing for the computer game generation and beyond.

On the DVD: Battle Royale has been re-released in this new and improved version. Now offered in progressive scan, utilising NTSC technology which has enhanced the picture quality. Please be aware though that not all DVD players are compatible, if unsure your best to opt for the first release.--Nikki Disney

Product Description

ONE DEAD. 41 TO GO.

Battle Royale is back. Its time to return to the island and kill your friends, because the cult Japanese movie that defines twisted action and sickening violence is ready to shock you all over again.

In a world where teenagers have no respect and adults are losing control there can be only one solution: Battle Royale! Now, see what happens when you let a high school class loose on an island, arm them and then give them a simple choice... Kill your friends or have them kill you; with poison, cross-bows, machetes and dynamite. Beat Takeshi Kitano (Violent Cop, Zatoichi) is a teacher pushed to the edge by his unruly charges. Kidnapped and gassed, his class wake up with exploding metal rings around their necks. If they rebel, they could lose their heads. Now they have three days and only one is permitted to survive this grisly battle to the death.

Directed by the master of 70s Yakuza thrillers Kinji Fukasaku and featuring Kill Bill star Chiaki Kuriyama, Battle Royale is the movie that helped to define extreme Asian cinema in the 21st Century.

Special Features: INCLUDES MAKING OF, TRAILER + BOOKLET BY JAPANESE CINEMA EXPERT TOM MES AND AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR KINJI FUKASAKU!


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant on two levels 1 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Forget Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. This is the best film to ever come from the Far East. Ever. It's been banned in 4 countries, but it's not the sort of film that deserves that. No sexually explicit scenes, just extreme violence. Violence is seen in most modern films. Like so many good films, it can be viewed at two levels. The meaningful one, which delivers a hard-hitting harsh portrayal of how society can degenerate in the hands of a poor economy and inept government. This is an admirable and shocking film in that respect. I have to admit I was genuinely shocked when I first saw this film. If this doesn't appeal to you, it can be taken at token value as a hackfest of a film in which children kill each other in increasingly gory ways.
The truly great thing about this film is the way the children are portrayed. You see how they react differently and shockingly to the contest, by laughing it off until they cop a bullet in the ribs, or taking their own lives because they cannot face killing their friends, or forming gangs built on fragile trust that can be broken in a heartbeat. Truly shocking, yet riveting in a way that makes you unable to stop watching. It's acted by real children - not famous children bred on success. That really really adds to the films effect.
As I said, this film can be taken on two levels. I seriously suggest seeing it firstly as a shocking and realistic film. The emotive power of this film beats anything I have seen before.
Excellent. Get it.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Film That Demands Repeated Viewings 15 Mar 2006
Format:DVD
The Place: Japan. The Time: The not-so-distant-future. Faced with the prospect of losing control over the nation's young people, a totalitarian government decides upon a ruthless demonstration of power. The Battle Royale Act annually sends a randomly-selected class of highschool students to an uninhabited island where they are compelled to kill each other until only one of their number survives.
The reasoning behind this bizarre piece of legislation is perhaps the weakest part of the plot - but the Director deftly causes us to suspend disbelief by drawing us surely and touchingly into the feelings of the young cast. Unlike many western movies which trot out a body count of simplistic characters who are only there to die horribly for our entertainment, Battle Royale somehow manages to rapidly introduce us to the story's potential victims and make us care about them.
We are deliberately disoriented by blackly humorous elements - most notably the video taped instructions delivered by a relentlessly hyper female presenter; like a living cartoon character, she mockingly tells the children to think of her as their new big sister and urges them to ‘fight with gusto’. As the class is issued with their survival packs (containing food, water, a flashlight and a randomly-issued weapon which might be as deadly as a shotgun or as useless as a paper fan), we see them react in a variety of realistic ways - some are numbed with terror; some decline to kill; others rush outside and prepare to ambush their former friends.
You will read reviews that describe this film as excessively violent. I believe that this is a gross overstatement.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential if you missed the Limited Edition 7 Mar 2011
By Boing TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
There was no way I was NOT going to like a Blu-Ray version of this masterpiece, but even so Arrow Videos absolutely wowed me with their considered and generous treatment of the Limited Edition release. Unfortunately even after the initial run of 5,000 copies was expanded to 10,000, the word is that they have run out. But don't panic! This 3 Disc Edition is nearly as comprehensive.

The packaging features a reversible sleeve, the video extras are numerous and non-filler, and the extra gifts ("Parents' Day" comic, collector's booklet, double-sided poster) are pretty good. The items you DON'T get are the second collector's booklet, the film stills, the numbered certificate (as this edition is not limited), and the fancy packaging. The actual VIDEO content of the three discs is the same as the Special Edition.

The Amazon product description actually does a good job of listing the content but the set specifications could be better. Specs are:

* Running time (theatrical) = 114 minutes;
* Running time (director's) = 122 minutes;
* Language/Subs = Japanese/English;
* Aspect Ratio = 1.85:1;
* Audio = DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / Stereo;
* Disc Region B.

It's interesting to note that the subtitles for the Director's Cut have been entirely re-translated. This creates trivial semantic differences between many bits of dialogue in the two versions of the film, but puts an entirely new spin on a minority of other scenes. It's worth watching both films back-to-back to see how the feel of certain character interactions changes.

With regard to new footage, I don't want to spoil anything.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Absolutely Essential Edition 20 Dec 2010
By Boing TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
There was no way I was NOT going to like a Blu-Ray version of this masterpiece, but even so Arrow Videos have absolutely wowed me with their considered and generous treatment of the release. The packaging is robust and well-designed, the video extras are numerous and non-filler, and the extra gifts ("Parents' Day" comic, the two booklets, the poster, and film stills) are all well presented and very well picked.

The box is very strong hard card in a matte finish, with front cover art that features a "school lockers" motif and a rear which is devoted to describing the set. Inside the box are five folding cardboard sleeves which share the locker motif on their rears. Two of the sleeves contain all the printed extras, and have the special edition posters on their fronts. The other three sleeves contain the Blu-Ray discs and the fronts feature stylised artwork of Kiriyama (Theatrical Release), Kawada (Director's Cut), and Mitsuko (Additional Extras), along with their weapons of choice. In short a strong but not overpowering artistic theme is maintained throughout the set which I think declares "someone who cares about the film designed me".

The Amazon product description actually does a good job of listing the content but the set specifications could be better. Specs are:

* Running time (theatrical) = 114 minutes;
* Running time (director's) = 122 minutes;
* Language/Subs = Japanese/English;
* Aspect Ratio = 1.85:1;
* Audio = DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 / Stereo.

It's interesting to note that the subtitles for the Director's Cut have been entirely re-translated. This creates trivial semantic differences between many bits of dialogue in the two versions of the film, but puts an entirely new spin on a minority of other scenes.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This was PERFECT, It was the best thing I could find and it fulfilled my needs at this time... Great
Published 6 days ago by NIGHTHAWK
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Hunger Games
This is 1000% better than Hunger Games. The original, the best, not going to get better. Have a look, you will not be disappointed.
Published 2 months ago by Chris Bamber
5.0 out of 5 stars Damaged DVD, but a great film
This film is amazing. Definitely a must-watch for everyone who likes drama, excitement, generally any film-lover. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Melissa Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie!
Seen it on here (Amazon) for quite cheap, and as it was a 3 disc addition with a tonne of extras, it was obviously a great deal. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Oran O'Neill
2.0 out of 5 stars Itchy & Scratchy
I am shamelessly stealing a comment from another reviewer who said, "It's like an hour and a half long 'Itchy & Scratchy' cartoon, but without the humour. Read more
Published 3 months ago by I. Craft
1.0 out of 5 stars Does not play on my DVD players or PC's
This version (and yes this sale version clearly states (all regions)) does not play on any players I own, I replaced it and yet it still fails to play on any of my devices. Read more
Published 3 months ago by CALIBRE
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame on Arrow
This review refers to the Arrow release of November 2013. I already have several editions of Battle Royale, but will not be adding this latest Arrow release to my collection. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. J. G. Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars SUBTITLES: English only!
Lot of awesome extras. I prefer the THEATRICAL CUT but the SPECIAL EDITION [DIRECTOR S CUT] isn't bad either, some new scenes feel a bit unnecessary, but it also has some good new... Read more
Published 5 months ago by N
5.0 out of 5 stars A typical survivor story to kill or be killed but oh my god the acting...
Never in my life have I ever seen a cast that fits their role perfect no matter how small or big it is. Read more
Published 6 months ago by worldofcinema
4.0 out of 5 stars hunger games for grown ups...and so much better
The Japanese film industry has an illustrious history of producing cinematic gems. This is another one though maybe a bit rough cut in places. Read more
Published 6 months ago by RJ
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